Levator Scapula

As the name suggests, it elevates the scapula, or your shoulder blade. 

Typically, the crunchy knots develop at the attachment where the muscle fibers connect to the bone. (see the image)

The reason those attachments suffer so much is because the weight of your arm and shoulder pulls down on the Levator all day. 

It gets especially strained when you sit (in the office, or while driving) - the Levator stays in the overstretched position for a long time. 

What happens to any muscle when you keep stretching it for too long beyond its comfortable limit? 

It starts to tear. 

The weakest spot is always at the attachments. The muscle fibers begin to split off the bone. Yikes!

Sounds bad, but it happens to all of us. We rarely see people who do not have crunchy Levators. Most of us do. 

Often, after several such mini-tears, the tissue may start to ache. You may feel a nagging ache while sitting, or walking, or even while sleeping at night. 

Your body heals these mini-tears at night by laying extra collagen at the attachments - this looks like an internal adhesion, or a scar. 

The adhesions create a tiny bump in the tissue so it feels grainy and crunchy when pressed. 

What to Do to Fix It? 

  1. Do Not Stretch It! Stretching the Levator Scapula will only worsen the ache, and re-tear any healing connections. 
  2. Roll on it with a baseball, or a ridged foam roller. Any focused treatment, or pressure, works to break up the knots (scar tissue). 
  3. Get a massage and ask your therapist to work the Levator Scapula at the attachments, and help you remove some of the crunchy scar tissue. 
  4. Tape it with a Kinesio tape if it is aching. The K tape will help to keep the muscle intact and prevent over-stretching. 
  5. Strengthen it. When strong, the Levator can better tolerate the weight of your arms pulling it down. 

Schedule Your Massage: 617-340-9870